Thomas Frank

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Thomas Frank
Thomas frank 2012.jpg
Frank at the 2012 Texas Book Festival
Thomas Carr Frank

(1965-03-21) March 21, 1965 (age 54)
Kansas City, Missouri, United States
ResidenceBethesda, Maryland, United States
Alma materUniversity of Virginia (B.A.) University of Chicago (M.A., Ph.D.)
OccupationPolitical analyst, columnist, historian, journalist
Known forCo-founder of The Baffler, culture war author
Notable work
What's the Matter with Kansas?
Political partyDemocratic

Thomas Carr Frank (born March 21, 1965) is an American political analyst, historian, and journalist. He co-founded and edited The Baffler magazine. Frank has written several books with great impact, most notably What's the Matter with Kansas? (2004) and Listen, Liberal (2016). From 2008 to 2010 he wrote "The Tilting Yard", a column in The Wall Street Journal.

A historian of culture and ideas, Frank analyzes trends in American electoral politics and propaganda, advertising, popular culture, mainstream journalism, and economics. His topics include the rhetoric and impact of culture wars in American political life and the relationship between politics and culture in the United States.

Early life[edit]

Frank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and grew up in Mission Hills, Kansas. He graduated from Shawnee Mission East High School, and in 1988 from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history after transferring from the University of Kansas in his freshman year. Frank received a Master of Arts degree in history in 1990 and a doctorate in history in 1994 from the University of Chicago.


Frank was originally a College Republican,[1] but he has come to be highly critical of conservatism, especially the presidency of George W. Bush. Frank summarized the thesis of his book The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule as "[b]ad government is the natural product of rule by those who believe government is bad."[2]

Frank's other writings include essays for Harper's Magazine, Le Monde diplomatique, Bookforum, and the Financial Times. His book What's the Matter with Kansas?, published in 2004, earned him nationwide and international recognition.

Since December 2010, Frank has written the monthly "Easy Chair" column for Harper's Magazine, alternating bi-monthly with writer and journalist Rebecca Solnit.[3]

Frank has called President Donald Trump "the worst politician ever", though he has maintained a belief that Trump could win the 2020 presidential election.[4] He also believes that "quasi-fascist movements" are springing up around the world.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Frank lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife and children.



  • Frank, Thomas (1997). The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism. University of Chicago Press.
  • One Market Under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism, and the End of Economic Democracy (2000) ISBN 0-385-49503-X
  • New Consensus for Old: Cultural Studies from Left to Right (2002) ISBN 0-9717575-4-2
  • Boob Jubilee: The Cultural Politics of the New Economy (2003) ISBN 0-393-32430-3
  • What's the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America (2004). Henry Holt and Co. ISBN 978-1-4299-0032-4
  • What's the Matter with America? The Resistible Rise of the American Right (2006) ISBN 0-09-949293-8
  • The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule (2008), Henry Holt and Co. ISBN 0-8050-7988-2
  • Pity the Billionaire: The Hard-Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right (2011) ISBN 978-0-8050-9369-8
  • Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? (2016) ISBN 978-1-6277-9539-5
  • Rendezvous with Oblivion: Reports from a Sinking Society (2018)

Essays and reporting[edit]

  • Frank, Thomas (November 2012). "All the rage". Easy Chair. Harper's. 325 (1950): 6, 8–9.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Interview with Thomas Frank". Goodreads. Oct 13, 2008. Retrieved Jun 4, 2019.
  2. ^ "Bill Moyers interviews Thomas Frank". PBS. August 1, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2016.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2010-08-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Murphy, K., "Donald Trump, 'worst politician ever', on path to re-election, Thomas Frank says", The Guardian, Jul 30, 2018.
  5. ^ editor, Katharine Murphy Political (Jul 30, 2018). "Donald Trump, 'worst politician ever', on path to re-election, Thomas Frank says". Retrieved Jun 4, 2019 – via

External links[edit]